Mark Pearl

I have been presenting at local conferences for a few years. At the end of last year I decided to make it a goal for this year to present at an overseas conference. With no experience on how to make the transition from local to international conferences and a limited budget, I decided email a few freinds of mine what that have already made this leap to get their advice.

Here are some of their comments…

I would suggest making a list of all the conferences you think you would like to attend. I'd suggest XPDays and Oredev. Then check where they fall on a calendar and which are good timing for you.  
Next up - see if you can find a remuneration policy for speakers - you might need to look at the 2014 conference pages to see this or ask previous speakers if you know them. The majority of conferences will cover your entrance if you are a speaker. A few will include some hotel nights. Even less will cover all hotel nights of conference (Agile20xx is one of these). We don't know of ANY that will pay flights unless you're a keynote speaker (The Scrum Gathering in South Africa is an exception).

So - basically at the minimum you'll be paying for flights.


Travel Expense

  • Buy tickets well in advance (think 6-10 months).
  • If you are a Discovery Vitality person - use your discounts.
  • Tricky part here is you don’t know if you’re a speaker at this point yet :(

  • Some conferences pay speakers only for certain types of sessions, so don’t hestitate to ask what the opportunities are.

Funding the time away from work

  • Ask organisers if they know local companies that might be interested in your services.
  • Offer a paid for pre-conference workshop to help cover expenses for the trip.

Getting Submissions Accepted

  • Submit to as many conferences as you can. This will give you practice in how to do this.
  • Volunteer to be a reviewer for the conference (like for Agile20xx) this way you learn how to write submissions and what the reviewers are looking for.
  • When submitting, send in the maximum submissions you can and vary the length and stage - this gives you a greater chance of being accepted.
  • Don’t worry about submitting too many talks / conferences - you can always decline if you get accepted and can’t do it.

People who gave advice

Thanks to the following people who gave advice

Additional Resources

How to get a submission accepted into Agile20xx

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